RECORDS: Bluefield State College (13-34) | Cleary University (21-29-1)
LOCATION: East Field Park in Glens Falls, NY
IN BRIEF: Cleary University extended their chance at a national title, defeating Bluefield State College 9-8 on a suicide squeeze in the bottom of the seventh inning.
HOW THEY SCORED: Bluefield State College took an early lead in the top of the first inning behind the bats of Justin Bowler, Sam Harris, and Logan Wriston. Each singled before Peyton Durham was hit by a pitch to score the first run of the game. Chaz Rutherford hit a sacrifice fly to score Harris for the 2-0 lead.
Cleary took back the lead in the bottom of the second scoring three runs on one hit and an error. Mickey Montpas had the only hit of the inning with one out, a single. Briton Ott was hit by a pitch, and runners advanced to second and third on a throwing error by the pitcher during a fielder's choice play that loaded the bases. After the second out, Nick Hoogerhyde walked to score the first run and both Ott and William Lovell scored on wild pitches.
Bluefield State College jumped back out in front in the bottom of the third. Drew D'Angelo singled to start the inning and was advanced to second on a Bowler walk. Harris then singled to load the bases. Wriston hit a sacrifice fly to center for his first RBI of the game. Durham followed with an RBI single, then Chase Chambers singled to load the bases again for the Big Blues. Billy O'Hara was then hit to score another run. Blocker doubled to the gap to score the fourth and fifth runs of the inning for Bluefield, putting them up 7-3.
Cleary got two back in the bottom of the third on singles from Jordan Hadley, Malbone, and Motpas. Lovell singled for another RBI, making the score 5-3 before Bluefield State added another run in the top of the inning on a Chambers RBI single. Cleary took the run back in the bottom half of the inning on hits from Hoogerhyde and Hadley (RBI).
Down 8-6 in the bottom of the fifth, Cleary began a miraculous two out rally. After a strike-out and fly-out, Lovell walked, Jordan Leyder was hit by a pitch, and Hoogerhyde walked to load the bases. Grable singled to clear the bases on a close play at home as Cleary took a one run lead going into the sixth inning.
After a scoreless sixth, Bluefield State entered the final inning still down a run. Chambers began the inning reaching first on an error by the third baseman. T.J. Sauers pinch ran for Chambers and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Cleary would retire the next two batters, only to give up the tying run on a D'Angelo RBI single in the right-centerfield gap.
The excitement extended to the bottom of the seventh inning as Bunting reached first on an error by the shortstop. Hoogerhyde doubled to advance Bunting to third. Then, with one out Grable laid down a suicide squeeze bunt that trickled into the glove of relief pitcher Brandon Wortkoetter. Wortkoetter flipped the ball to the plate as O'Hara attempted to block Bunting, but he was called safe at the play at the plate, advancing the Cougars into Wednesday at the Small College World Series.
BEHIND THE BOX SCORE: John Grable was only 1 for 1 for the Cougars, but still drove in half of the Cougars ten runs with his three walks. Bluefield State only allowed six earned runs in the game.
NEXT UP: Wright State advances in the elimination bracket to play tonight at 9:00 pm against 10th seeded Marygrove College. Penn State Monto Alto exits the tournament after a season where they prevailed as the Penn State University Athletic Conference champion.